THE AFRICAN TRADITIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF SUCCESS
Traditional Africans usually had set objectives that they would work so hard to achieve and hence be considered successful.
CONSIDERATION OF SUCCESS IN TRADITIONAL AFRICA. (what traditional Africans considered success)
Success was considered to have been achieved in the following instances.
1. Closeness to God. Having a good relationship with God through sacrifices, rituals etc was not only considered a success but also a source of many more successes due to the expected blessings.
2. Loyalty to ancestors. The dead relatives were known to live on even after death and being loyal to them through libations etc was a success and also it’s source.
3. Loyalty to traditional values. Faithfulness to the cultural values of a certain society was a success because it gave them pride and a sense of belonging.
4. Marriage. Traditional Africans deeply respected marriage considering it a physical demonstration of maturity. Getting a marriage partner therefore was considered a big success.
5. Polygamy. An African man that had more than one wife had prestige. He enjoyed the loyalty of his wives and children that would earn him recognition and hence a success.
6. Many children. Due to the fact that children were seen as a way of expanding the clan, every African man tried to produce many of them and when he did, he would be considered successful.
7. Attaining informal education. Values and skills were usually imparted onto the young by aunts, elders, grandparents etc Once a person had undergone this traditional learning scheme, they would be considered successful.
8. Moral children. A family that had raised morally upright children that feared, respected and obeyed God, ancestors and elders was considered successful because they would ensure an orderly future community.
9. Fulfilling initiation rites. African societies had rites that introduced people to different life such as circumcision, body piercing etc. Undergoing such rites was considered a success.
10. Honouring blood pacts. Africans strengthened friendship by creating blood bonds. If the blood brotherhood friends fulfilled the pledges of such pacts, they would be considered successful.
11. Being social. African traditionalists held deep respect for social friendships because they realized they would breed help and guidance. If a person was social, loved and was loved by people, he would be considered successful.
12. Acquiring land. Land was a valuable resource to all Africans. A family head that secured land was sure of cultivation of food, rearing livestock and thus food security which was a success.
13. Material wealth. In traditional Africa, wealth in form of large herds of cattle, sheep, goats, houses, was prestige and social security and hence was seen as a success.
14. Good harvests. Success was also attributed to a family which had had a good harvest of food. This is because a family with food was considered hardworking.